The Milwaukee Brewers shoot for a season-ending sweep of the San Diego Padres Tuesday at Miller Park.
A valiant effort in the second half came up short for the Brewers, who have won the first two installments of this set and three of four overall.
In Tuesday's 4-3 win, Martin Maldonado hit a grand slam with two out in the third inning and that was all the runs Milwaukee would need.
"We had plenty of opportunities to score more after the grand slam," Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. "It always hurts me when we have those opportunities and don't score. The guys in the bullpen did their job."
Tyler Thornburg drew the start for the Brewers and held the Padres to a run in four innings, while Jim Henderson picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief. John Axford allowed two hits in the ninth, but fanned two batters to nail down his 35th save of the season.
The Brewers are out of the playoffs for the third time in four years.
Ryan Braun was 0-for-3 with a run scored and is making a case for another MVP award. Braun is batting .320 with 41 homers and 112 RBI this season and is tied for the NL lead in runs scored with 107.
Josh Stinson gets the nod for the Brewers tonight and he has no record or earned run average in five relief appearance, spanning 5 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 19 career relief appearances, will make his first start and has never faced San Diego.
Stinson is taking the place of Yovani Gallardo.
The Padres have lost three in a row and six of seven games, and starting pitcher Anthony Bass was done in by Maldonado's grand slam. Bass lasted three innings and allowed three hits.
Seven relievers then kept the Brewers off the board the rest of the way.
"One swing of the bat was it," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It is a great learning experience for a lot of guys. Our bullpen did a great job. (Brewers manager Ron Roenicke) made a lot of moves and I made a lot of moves. All-in- all a good ball game."
Everth Cabrera recorded three hits and Chase Headley ended 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored for San Diego, which hasn't reached the postseason since 2006. Headley leads Braun with 113 RBI to 112, and was named the NL's player of the month for the second straight time. Headley batted .324 with a .410 on-base percentage, nine home runs and 30 RBI in September.
"To have that [production] in San Diego, that's pretty amazing," Roenicke told the team's website. "He needs to be talked about a lot more than he has been. To have that kind of year in that place? Phenomenal."
Andrew Werner will make his final start of the season for the Friars and the rookie is 2-3 with a 4.78 earned run average in seven starts. Werner has lost back-to-back starts, including last Friday's 3-1 setback versus San Francisco in which he permitted three runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 frames.
The left-hander has never faced Milwaukee and is 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA in two road assignments.
The Brewers are 5-3 against the Padres this season.